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Saturday, November 05, 2005

Jarhead, War Film or Gay Film?

I have not seen this movie yet. So I can't give an opinion on it. However, when I do see the film I know I'll be thinking of this critic's theory:
I think Mendes makes films that are exercises. And Jarhead succeeds as an exercise in gay metaphor. By emphasizing the male bonding rituals that go on between the troops, Jarhead is the gayest war film of all time.

Recipe for gayest war film of all time:

1. Combine macho homophobic comments of soldiers with showering together (loads of slapping of asses)

2. Mix in tight bonding (note the pairing-off of sniper teams) of often topless hard-bodied troops (even the stereotypical nerdy recruit is ripped)

3. Juxtapose with sub-theme of cheating by far-away girlfriends and wives (including one who is said to only wear her boyfriend's military clothes and have a soldier fetish)

4. Equate shooting of gun with masturbation (x10!)

5. Add General who keeps saying he's getting a hard on while speaking to the assembled male troops

6. Simulate gay group orgy to embarrass Sergeant

7. Climax film with scene about as close as you can get to a literal circle jerk (firing guns into the air until all their rounds are spent)

This film is comparing war with busting your gay cherry. Or, if you want to get all film-crit 101 with it: the sexualization of war. They're all waiting for their first kill, to fire a shot, to do something, anything! And everything they do while waiting is highly sexualized. And then when it doesn't come, when nothing happens, it's like the biggest cock-tease in history.

There is only one punchline for this...Don't ask, don't tell...